Thursday, March 8, 2012

When will Laguna Beach city government do this?

The City Council voted unanimously to support multimodal transportation in the updated General Plan. They are the only City in Orange County to make such a declaration. Introduced by Councilman Baker, the motion passed with consensus (5-0) opinion and stated the following:
"San Clemente's Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan shall be fully integrated with the City's updated Circulation Element so as to comply with the letter and spirit of California's Complete Streets Law, thereby creating a balanced multimodal transportation system for all."  PEDal Story here


  1. Although not nearly as specific in reference to the Complete Streets legislation, the newly adopted Land Use Element clearly endorses these concepts under Goal 8. That goal reads:

    “Minimize the impact of the automobile on the character of Laguna Beach and emphasize a pedestrian-oriented environment, safe sidewalks, landscaped buffer zones, and alternate means of transportation.

    Intent -Laguna Beach is a popular visitor destination. Consequently, community members often cite traffic, circulation and parking as a negatively impacting their quality of life. The following policies set forth methods to improve circulation and parking conditions by evaluating and adopting methods to reduce congestion, encouraging alternative forms of transportation (e.g., transit, walking, and bicycle opportunities), provide sidewalks in designated neighborhoods, address public and private issues, and select potential locations for new public parking lots.”

    This was initially adopted by the Council over two years ago and received Coastal Commission approval in December 2011.

    A copy of the Land Use Element, including suggested policies to meet this goal, is available at the City website (

    The current efforts to update the City’s Mobility Element will further enhance the specifics required to meet the above goal.

    Norm Grossman

  2. The Land Use Element document first published in 11 October 1983, revised and adopted 7 February 2012 is a snapshot of Laguna’s past. It is written in flowering language to show Intent, Goals, Policy and Action about land use in Laguna Beach but does not specify adoption of Complete Street Policy nor specify the mode share of pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and cars for safe balanced mobility, the intent of Complete Street Policy.

    For example, the mission statement reads: “To ensure that the City of Laguna Beach will endure for future generations as a thriving, sustainable community that respects and nurtures our scenic natural surroundings, village character, and quality of Life.”

    Goal 8.0 of the Land Use Element states “Minimize the impact of the automobile on the character of Laguna Beach.....” It makes references to increasing bicycle and pedestrian use, but nowhere are the mandates for Complete Streets Policy referenced (statutes AB 1358). Instead paragraph 8.3.1 references the “Transportation Circulation and Growth Element. The Guiding Principles 4.0 make reference to pedestrian and bike usage but for infrastructure “mixed-use development" that does not in fact exist.

    The Transportation Circulation and Growth Element was written in 17 April 1974 and last amended 1 June 1999. This Element devotes ONE page to the discussion of pedestrian and bike use on page 51. The content of this document does not show in substance any commitment to pedestrian or bicycle mode share for the town, nor does it mention Complete Streets Policy anywhere in the 42Mb taken to write it.

    The current text makes references to bicycle and pedestrian use, but only in surrounding parks and recreational areas, not within city boundaries. It references bike lanes and pedestrian infrastructure that do not in reality exist anywhere in Laguna’s city limits where the small mode share of pedestrian and bikes are the issue. A new document is presently being prepared, called the “Mobility Element” is presumably where a miracle occurs.

    Complete Streets Policy was conceived in 2003, became state (January 2011) and federal law and is enforceable whether or not Laguna Beach has its documents in order.